POLI06002 2016 Running the Country

General Details

Full Title
Running the Country
Transcript Title
Running the Country
N/A %
Subject Area
POLI - Policy Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Chris Sparks, John Pender
Programme Membership
SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ

On completion of the module students will be able to identify the institutions of the state responsible for the governance of the Republic of Ireland and understand their operation. To this end, an understanding of the relationship between the state, society and the economy will be explored. Learners will be introduced to the notion of power and its exercise in the governance of the Republic of Ireland. Learners will be equipped to understand the interplay of political philosophy, ideology, political parties, media, and campaigning and pressure groups in the day-to-day operation of government and how these forces and dynamics result in the development on national legislation and policy.




Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


appreciate the importance and significance of ideological, political, cultural and economic influences on the development the Irish state


identify and recognise the latitude and constraints attaching to Ireland's ability to independently generate and implement public and social policy


evaluate the extent to which political parties, new social movements, pressure groups, social and political entrepreneurs, media and NGOs influence the direction and priorities of social and public policy


understand the dominant models of policy-making and policy analysis


articulate conceptions of power, inclusion and entitlement and demonstrate how these manifest in the attitudes and behaviour of actors in the policy-making domain


generate innovative and evidence based policy solutions to demonstrable social and/or public policy problems and issues


produce well structured policy documents that adhere to the 'stages' approach to policy-making

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Weekly lectures and student led weekly workshops where pre-agreed readings are subjected to critical review and evaluation by each participant and where students present their policy solutions.

Module Assessment Strategies

This is an introductory module that seeks to expose participants to ways in which the country is governed and how legisltation and policy is developed and enforced. To this end, the assessment strategy seeks to encourage students to critically think about the ways in which they may contribute to this process as active and informed citizens. Accordingly, a problem based approach underpins the continuous assessment element of assessment where students are encouraged to adopt creative approaches to a particular policy issue that they have identified as being problematic and in need of intervention. Students will undertake this 'hands on' policy-making as members of self-selecting groups (maximum of 3 per group). In conjunction with a workshop presentation of their policy and submission of a policy paper write-up, this element of the assessment strategy accounts for 100% of the marks allocation. 

Repeat Assessments

Submission of a 2000 word essay.

Indicative Syllabus

The emergence and evolution of the Irish State: politics, economy and political culture

Review of the Constitution and legislative processs including judical review

The electoral system, the role of political parties and what they represent

The importance of political and policy entrepreneurship (political leadership)

The role of the judiciary and policy-making

The impact of EU membership and the development of Irish legislation and social policy

The role of the Oireachtas and national policy-making fora

The role of local government

The origins and function of the ‘Welfare State’: positioning Ireland internationally

Ideological moulding forces: Catholicism, conservatism/neo-conservatism, socialism, social democracy, environmentalism, feminism, new managerialism, vocationalism, neo-liberalism, Europeanisastion, Globalism

What do we mean by ‘public and social policy’?

The politics of social policy: political philosophy of welfare, free markets, communities and individuals, rights and responsibilities

Introduction to approaches to policy-making: Rational choice (e.g. Simon’s bounded rationality, March and Olsen’s notions of irrationality and policy-making – ‘Garbage Can Model’, Weber and bureaucracy, Lindholm and incrementalism); Power approaches (elitism, pluralism, Marxism, corporatism, professionalism, technocracy); Public Choice approaches; Institutional approaches (sociological, economic and political and ‘new’ institutionalism)

Policy-making and advocacy: the media, campaigning groups and new social movements, pressure groups, epistemic communities, network theory

Exploring policy-making in action including at least two of the folloing key social policy case studies: homelessness and housing policy, health, social inclusion and poverty, minority ethnicities, disability, children, youth policy, the benefits system, older people


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Group project (not exceeding three group members) workshop presentation Continuous Assessment Group Project 40 % OnGoing 2,3,4,5,6
2 Group based write-up on policy intervention Continuous Assessment Written Report 60 % Week 11 1,2,4,6,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Weekly lectures 2 Weekly 2.00
Workshop Problem Based Learning Room Weekly policy development workshops 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2009-10-01 Politics in the Republic of Ireland Routledge
ISBN 0415476720 ISBN-13 9780415476720

Politics in the Republic of Ireland is now available in a fully revised fifth edition. Building on the success of the previous four editions, it continues to provide an authoritative introduction to all aspects of politics in the Republic of Ireland. Written by some of the foremost experts on Irish politics, it explains, analyzes and interprets the background to Irish government and contemporary political processes.

Bringing students up to date with the very latest developments, Coakley and Gallagher combine real substance with a highly readable style, providing an accessible textbook that meets the needs of all those who are interested in knowing how politics and government operate in Ireland.

Recommended Reading
2009-05-15 Politics in Ireland: Convergence and Divergence in a Two-Polity Island (Comparative Government and Politics) Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 1403989702 ISBN-13 9781403989703

This is a major new text on Irish politics written by two leading authorities. Distinctive in providing a comprehensive treatment of Irish politics north and south, it is accessibly written and offers an up-to-date and comprehensive account of institutions, issues and developments.

Recommended Reading
2012 Political Ideologies. Palgrave. 2012. Palgrave
ISBN 0230367259 ISBN-13 9780230367258
Recommended Reading
2014-01-31 Using Political Ideas John Wiley & Sons Inc
ISBN 1118708385 ISBN-13 9781118708385
Recommended Reading
2013-03-22 Politics Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 0230363385 ISBN-13 9780230363380

The fully revised and updated fourth edition of this highly successful text offers a truly comprehensive introduction to the study of politics, written from an international perspective

Recommended Reading
2009-06-22 Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present Oxford University Press
ISBN 0199215529 ISBN-13 9780199215522

Political Thinkers provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to Western political thought written by a team of internationally renowned scholars. This collection provides an overview of the canon of great theorists, from Socrates and the Sophists to contemporary thinkers such as Habermas and Foucault. The second edition includes two new chapters on Cicero and Kant. It is also accompanied by an Online Resource Center which includes: Interactive timeline of thinkers Links to journal articles Web links New to this edition: Part introductions pinpointing common themes between thinkers End-of-chapter discussion questions Annotated further reading

Recommended Reading
Irish Government Today n/a
ISBN 0717145522 ISBN-13 9780717145522
Recommended Reading
2011-11-04 Fianna Fail: A Biography of the Party Gill & MacMillan, Limited
ISBN 0717147614 ISBN-13 9780717147618

The Fianna Fail Party, since it first came to government in 1932, has completely dominated the political life of Ireland. Fianna Fail has always seen itself as more than a party: more a national movement and one that represented the nation in microcosm, superseding partisan and regional prejudices. It also managed to be the most ruthless, successful and professional party machine in Europe. Noel Whelan traces the party's fortunes from its foundation by Eamon de Valera and Sean Lemass in the 1920s, through the economic war of the 1930s, war-time neutrality and the stagnation of the 1950s. Lemass's governments of the 1960s, generally regarded as the best in the history of the State, restored the country's fortunes, but the 1970s and 1980s were wasted years, dominated by the divisive and charismatic figure of Charles J. Haughey. Under the later leadership of Bertie Ahern, party divisions were healed, and it seemed that national divisions were healed with them. An economic boom was allowed recklessly to run out of control, with the result that the party, having brought Irish prosperity to a new peak, was blamed for the sudden violence of the crash. The general election of 2011 reduced Fianna Fail to its lowest ebb since it had been founded. It may not have marked the end of the party, but it clearly marked the end of an era.

Recommended Reading
2013-10-21 A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-1987 Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 1137022051 ISBN-13 9781137022059

Drawing on interviews with key players and previously unused archival sources, this book offers a fascinating account of a critical period in Fine Gael's history when the party was challenged to define its place in Irish politics.

Recommended Reading
2012-11-07 Making the Difference?: The Irish Labour Party 1912-2012 Collins Pr
ISBN 1848891423 ISBN-13 9781848891425

This series of essays to mark the party's centenary assesses the challenges facing Labour in a deeply conservative country, where echoes of civil war and Catholic Church hegemony have dominated the political landscape. Leading writers from the fields of journalism, history, and social reform examine the failings, splits, and contradictions of Ireland's oldest political party.

Recommended Reading
2015-01-22 The Catholic Church in Ireland Today Lexington Books
ISBN 1498502520 ISBN-13 9781498502528

From a Church that once enjoyed devotional loyalty, political influence, and institutional power unrivaled in Europe, the Catholic Church in Ireland now faces collapse. Devastated by a series of reports on clerical sexual abuse, challenged publicly during several political battles, and painfully aware of plunging Mass attendance, the Irish Church today is confronted with the loss of its institutional legitimacy. This study is the first international and interdisciplinary attempt to consider the scope of the problem, analyze issues that are crucial to the Irish context, and identify signs of both resilience and renewal. In addition to an overview of the current status and future directions of Irish Catholicism, The Catholic Church in Ireland Today examines specific issues such as growing secularism, the changing image of Irish bishops, generational divides, Catholic migrants to Ireland, the abuse crisis and responses in Ireland and the United States, Irish missionaries, the political role of Irish priests, the 2012 Dublin Eucharistic Congress, and contemplative strands in Irish identity. This book identifies the key issues that students of Irish society and others interested in Catholic culture must examine in order to understand the changing roles of religion in the contemporary world.

Recommended Reading
2015-03-01 Defining events: Power, resistance and identity in twenty-first-century Ireland (Irish Society MUP) Manchester University Press
ISBN 0719090571 ISBN-13 9780719090578

This book re-visits and re-thinks some recent defining events in Irish society. Some of these are high profile and occupy a prominent place in public consciousness, such as the announcement of the banking guarantee and the publication of the Ryan report into clerical child abuse, while others are 'fringe' events which attracted less attention, such as the launch of Indymedia.ie, or were widely discussed in popular culture, like the publication of Donal g Cusack's autobiography or the opening of Dundrum Town Centre. The book critically explores issues of equality, belonging and rights as they impact on diverse communities in Ireland, be they older people, migrants or LGBT people.

As focal points for each chapter, all of the events covered in the book provide rich insights into the dynamics of Irish society in the twenty-first century. All expose underlying and complex issues of identity, power and resistance that animate public debate. In so doing, the book ultimately encourages readers to question the sources of, limits and obstacles to change in contemporary Ireland.

This book brings together in a single volume the experience, research and analysis of critical commentators from a diverse range of disciplines across the social sciences, and provides an important contribution to discourse about social, economic and cultural issues in today's Ireland. This makes for an original, timely and genuinely inter-disciplinary text.

Recommended Reading
2016-03-01 Ethical and Legal Debates In Irish Healthcare: Confronting complexities (Irish Society Mup) Manchester University Press
ISBN 0719099463 ISBN-13 9780719099465

The Irish health system is confronted by a range of challenges, both emerging and recurring. This collection provides a foundation for ongoing engagement with selected issues in contemporary Irish health contexts. It includes contributions from scholars and practitioners across a range of disciplines. The essays are theoretically informed and are grounded in the realities of the Irish health system, by drawing on contributors' contextual knowledge.

The focus of the collection is interdisciplinary and the essays are situated at the intersection between ethics, law, medicine and policy. It draws out the interlinking themes of context and care, rights and responsibilities, regulating research and oversight of decision-making.

This book makes an informed and balanced contribution to academic and broader public discourse. It will be of interest to academics and postgraduate students in ethics, law and health and those outside the academic sphere who must engage critically with the issues addressed.

Recommended Reading
2014-12-05 Doing Politics (Doing... Series) Routledge
ISBN 0415678056 ISBN-13 9780415678056

Aimed at politics students in their final year of secondary education or beginning their degrees, this highly readable book is the ideal introduction to politics. Doing Politics is a detailed guide to both the study and the activity of politics, which explores why we study politics, what is involved in a politics degree, and the skills and mindset that are needed to tackle the subject.

Key questions are answered, including:

Just what is politics and how does it affect us?

Why does politics, and why do politicians, get a bad press?

How do we study non-traditional forms of politics?

Assuming no prior knowledge, this lively and engaging guide is the perfect introduction to the academic study of politics.

Recommended Reading
2015-04-24 European Union Politics (Palgrave Foundations Series) Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 1137453397 ISBN-13 9781137453396

The new edition of this lively and student-friendly text provides an engaging introduction to all aspects of politics and policy in the European Union, giving readers a sense of the colour of EU politics and its impact on people's lives.
The text examines the history, institutions, processes and policies of the European Union as well as the theories developed to explain its character and evolution. The second edition has been thoroughly updated to cover the 2014 European Parliament elections and new appointments to all the major EU institutions, along with the ongoing fallout from the euro zone crisis. A new boxed feature on 'understanding integration' shows how theories and concepts developed in political science illuminate different aspects of European Union politics.

Noted for its clarity and vivid style, each chapter of European Union Politics is enhanced by:

Photos and descriptions of events, thinkers and political actors
Breakdowns of key debates
Chapter summaries and guides to further reading
On-page definitions

The companion website is available at www.palgrave.com/politics/mccormick and provides:

Self-test questions and answers
Update materials
Searchable glossary and chronology
Web-links and further reading
Additional lecturer resources

Recommended Reading
1989 Modern Ireland 1600-1972 Penguin
ISBN 0140132503 ISBN-13 9780140132502
Recommended Reading
2005-08-25 The Transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 Profile Books Ltd
ISBN 1861974434 ISBN-13 9781861974433

A ground-breaking history of the twentieth century in Ireland, written on the most ambitious scale by a brilliant young historian. It is significant that it begins in 1900 and ends in 2000 - most accounts have begun in 1912 or 1922 and largely ignored the end of the century. Politics and political parties are examined in detail but high politics does not dominate the book, which rather sets out to answer the question: 'What was it like to grow up and live in 20th-century Ireland'? It deals with the North in a comprehensive way, focusing on the social and cultural aspects, not just the obvious political and religious divisions.

Recommended Reading
1990-01-26 Ireland, 1912-1985: Politics and Society Cambridge University Press
ISBN 0521377412 ISBN-13 9780521377416

This is the first major study on this scale of Irish performance, North and South, in the twentieth century. Although stressing the primacy of politics in Irish public affairs, it argues that Irish politics must be understood in the broad context of economic, social, administrative, cultural, and intellectual history. The book fully explores the relationship between rhetoric and reality in the Irish mind and views political behavior largely as a product of collective psychology. "The Irish experience" is placed firmly in a comparative context. The book seeks to assess the relative importance of British influence and of indigenous impulses in shaping an independent Ireland, and to identify the relationship between personality and process in determining Irish history. Particularly close attention is paid to individuals such as Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, W.T. Cosgrove, Sir James Craig, J.J. McElligott, Sean Lemass, Terence O'Neill, and Ian Paisley, and to the limits within which even the most powerful personalities were forced to operate.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Coakley, J., and Gallagher, M. (eds) (2009), Politics in the Republic of Ireland (5th edition). London: Routledge

Considine, M., and Dukelow, F. (2009), Irish Social Policy: A critical Introduction. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

Dooney, S., and O’Toole, J. (2009), Irish Government Today (3rd rev edition). Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

European Anti Poverty Network Ireland (2010), Ireland and the European Social Inclusion Strategy: Lessons Learned and the Road Ahead. Dublin: European Anti Poverty Network Ireland.

Healy, S., Reynolds, B., and Collins, M. (2006), Social Policy in Ireland: Principles, Practice and Problems (2nd edition). Dublin: The Liffey Press.

Parsons, W. (1995), Public Policy: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

Pierson, C., and Castles, F. G. (eds) (2006), The Welfare State Reader (2nd edition). London: Polity Press.

Other Resources

Electronic access to Administration, Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies, Irish Political Studies Journal and Irish Journal of Sociology.

Access to Policy and Politics Studies Moodle (o requivalent) resource.

Additional Information